Faculty of Economics and Business Administration Publications Database

Preannouncing pioneering versus follower products: what should the message be?

Homburg, Christian
Totzek, Dirk
Volume: 37
Number: 3
Pages: 310 - 327
Link External Source: Online Version
Year: 2009
Keywords: Preannouncement, Order of entry, New product development, Innovation management

Despite the high practical relevance, prior research does not provide a clear picture whether the effectiveness of new product preannouncements is contingent upon order of entry and whether the message content of preannouncements for pioneering products should be different from those for followers. Drawing on diffusion research, the authors examine how preannouncements that focus on risk reduction and the product’s relative advantage influence the relationship between preannouncement intensity and new product success, taking into account order of entry. A cross-industry study investigating 151 new product launches shows that for pioneers, a message focus aimed at reducing perceived product risk positively influences preannouncement effectiveness. Furthermore, a relative advantage focus negatively affects preannouncement effectiveness and thus is rather counterproductive for pioneers. With regard to early followers, results indicate a positive influence of a risk reduction focus on preannouncement effectiveness. A relative advantage focus, however, is only effective if the product category is already established when the early follower product is launched. Finally, for late followers, only preannouncements which strongly emphasize the relative product advantage lead to a positive effect of preannouncements on new product success.